You are out with your girlfriends and it is time for lunch. Where do you go? There are lots of cafes to choose from. Will it be ethnic, organic or the café in the bookshop? In the end, you usually choose the tried and true café where you know what to expect. The lunch is nothing special.
How often do you do something similar when it comes to choosing where to buy your clothes? Back to the tried and true, usually a retail or chain store most of the time. You get clothes that look okay yet you feel that your wardrobe is full and you have nothing that you really want to wear.
It is time to become more adventurous.
Like cafes, there are dress shops everywhere. It is time to play and explore. Most of the advice in magazines is about tried and true classics or they highlight the trend of the season. The slightly different clothes that add excitement and personality to your wardrobe are often found in small, secret places.
Here are my three modern dressing tips for business and professional women over 40 to make your adventurous shopping easier.
Step 1 – Explore Your Local Suburb and the Neighbouring Ones
It is easier, closer and hidden gems are often right under your nose. Remember the feeling of excitement when you found a new coffee shop that had just opened in your local area? It is not long before you go in and taste what they offer. You cannot walk in and out. You have got to stop, have a coffee and cake and then decide if you will return.
So it is with the little dress shops in your neighbourhood. Pick a street or shopping centre to explore. Check out the ads in your local paper and make a list of new shops to visit. Stop at that dress shop you have always driven past because you have pre-judged it by its name or its location. Be daring and ask a well-dressed local where she shops.
Step 2 – Get to Know the Owner or Saleswoman
Go exploring with a goal in mind – either to find a certain item of clothing or to find a new shop that stocks clothes for your work, lifestyle and personality. You are looking for a shop that also gives great service. You are over 40 and old enough to speak plainly. Age has its benefits.
Tell the saleswoman why you are there. A good saleswoman cannot help you if you do not know who you are and what suits you and your whole lifestyle. You want someone who will only suggest small changes to develop your unique style. Walk away from someone who wants you to make a radical change. She has not made a real effort to listen and understand you. If you feel comfortable with this person and you get a gut feeling that you can trust her, you will be more open to suggestions about new styles and colours to try on.
Step 3 – Expect Some Failures
Not every new coffee shop meets your expectations. You move on without feeling guilty. So it will be with exploring new dress shops. There will be some successes and some failures.
You will have to walk away from some shops. Say thank you and then politely tell them why that shop is not for you (be it the clothes or the service). Be a mature adult rather than a scared child afraid to speak your truth.
Staying with the tried and true is doing the same and expecting different results. Being a little more adventurous is about finding a new dress mentor who helps you become a more definable and shining you. Together you both enjoy sharing the adventure.
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 8 April 2010. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)